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'The Normal Heart' Teaser Trailer Unearths the Panic, Grief, and Humanity of the Early Days of AIDS: VIDEO

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The film adaptation of Larry Kramer's largely autobiographical Tony award-winning (for its revival in 2011) play The Normal Heart is coming to HBO on May 25 and a new trailer debuted yesterday.

The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch, and Jim Parsons, and chronicles the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City as seen through the eyes of an activist.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "'The Normal Heart' Teaser Trailer Unearths the Panic, Grief, and Humanity of the Early Days of AIDS: VIDEO" »


Bomer, Kitsch, Parsons, Ruffalo, and Roberts Gather to Preview 'The Normal Heart'

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(image source)

The cast of The Normal Heart  — Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, and director Ryan Murphy — assembled at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena to preview the upcoming HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer's iconic play on Thursday.

The Hollywood Reporter has a good wrap-up of the Q&A event:

[Julia] Roberts, meanwhile, noted she'd been approached to play the part [of Dr. Emma Brookner, a polio survivor who treats several of the early victims of HIV/AIDS] before but turned it down because she couldn't understand just who the character was at her core. But when Murphy called, the actress watched a documentary on polio and it all came together, prompting her to join the production. "It unlocked the door to who this woman is to me and where her ferocious, relentless pursuit of correctness comes from," Roberts said. "It was such a beautiful experience to get to play her and get to pay tribute to a person who never let anything stand between her and the right thing to do for someone else."

Asked if it was a priority to cast openly gay actors in the project -- both Bomer and Parsons are out -- Murphy noted he went after the best actor, gay or straight. "We never went after anyone based on sexuality," he said, noting that the world has changed a lot in the past five years.

Parsons and Bomer, for their part, noted that they don't think of themselves as gay actors but rather just actors. "I was only anxious about when the conversation would happen," the Big Bang Theory star said. "Then it happened and it was out there, and it was no big deal -- and that was a relief."

The film debuts in May. Some of the first footage was released in an HBO promo in December. Hopefully we'll get a full trailer soon, as one was shown at TCA.


HBO Promo Reveals First Footage from 'The Normal Heart': VIDEO

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Certainly one of the most highly anticipated gay media moments next year is the film adaptation of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, which features a star-studded cast including Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer, and Julia Roberts.

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Over the weekend we posted the first images from the film, but now, at the end of a new HBO promo comes some intriguing footage of the stars.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "HBO Promo Reveals First Footage from 'The Normal Heart': VIDEO" »


First Images From Ryan Murphy's HBO Adaptation Of 'The Normal Heart'

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Ryan Murphy, most famous for television series like American Horror StoryGlee, and Nip/Tuck, is now taking on Larry Kramer's 1985 play The Normal Heart. Murphy's directorial adaptation of the play, a semi-autobiographical work which chronicles the founding of the Gay Men's Health Crisis during the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, will appear on HBO this spring. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons (who appeared in the recent Broadway revival of the play), Matt Bomer, and Taylor Kitsch. Now, the first official image from the film has been released (above).

Entertainment Weekly reports:

“It’s a movie about AIDS, but it’s also really a civil rights movie,” says Murphy, who worked with Kramer on the script for three years. “I think it’s more timely than ever before. It’s really about the quest to be seen, not as a gay person or a straight person but just a person…. It’s an activist movie that also has a really great love story in it.” Adds the director, “Of everything I’ve done in my career, I think it is the biggest labor of love.”

Many will be waiting with bated breath to see how Murphy's film adaptation holds up against the fiery rage of the staged original. Are you looking forward to The Normal Heart? 

Images via Entertainment Weekly.

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'The Normal Heart' Scribe Larry Kramer Married In Ceremony At NY Hospital

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Kramer and his partner, Larry Webster, said to the New York Times that they had set their wedding date weeks ago, before he had his current health issues. Rather than postpone, the two were married inside the intensive care unit of NYU Langone Medical Center yesterday. Kramer is currently there recovering from surgery that removed a bowel obstruction. 

Larry Kramer is known for his landmark work championing government action to combat HIV and AIDS during the 1980s. He helped found both Act Up and Gay Men's Health Crisis, and also penned two acclaimed plays based on his experiences. Recently, he also received a special Tony award for his efforts. 

According to NYT, the couple's original plan was to wed in Greenwich Village on the terrace of their apartment. Webster went on to explain.

"I had been traveling when Larry went into the hospital...and when I was back and he was able to talk, he told me he had invited 20 people to the I.C.U. for the wedding. So it turned into a little party at his bedside."

They then exchanged Cartier rings and opted to speak their wedding vows without any sort of script. According to Webster, his new husband is feeling much better than he was before. 

“He wasn’t able to attend the wedding reception afterward at Riverpark, but we’ll have a party once he’s out of the hospital.”


Larry Kramer to Receive Special Tony Award

Playwright, author, and longtime activist Larry Kramer will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award this year, the WSJ reports.

KramerThe award is "a non-competitive Tony award given to an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution on behalf of humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations."

They add:

Kramer said so few playwrights in the U.S. write about politics, and instead focus on plays about personal relationships and families, “which I consider of lesser interest to me as a writer. If you compare it with Britain where every major playwright — David Hare, Howard Brenton – has written about what’s going on in the country, that doesn’t exist here.”

Kramer said he has been “frowned upon as a serious writer” ever since his 1985 play “The Normal Heart,” which is based upon his own experiences co-founding the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

Kramer won a 2011 Tony for Best Revival for the revival of The Normal Heart, now being adapted into an HBO film helmed by Ryan Murphy and starring Mark Ruffalo.

The Tony Awards take place on June 9.

(image david shankbone wikimedia)


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